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No safety upgrade plans after A38 bridge horror

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 29, 2014

27/05/14 Police Incident
Shobnall Footbridge where a person jumped off onto the A38 over the Bank Holiday .

27/05/14 Police Incident Shobnall Footbridge where a person jumped off onto the A38 over the Bank Holiday .

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A PROMINENT councillor has explained the reasons why safety changes have never been put in place on a bridge where a man fell onto the A38.

Bill Ganley, who represents the Shobnall ward on East Staffordshire Borough Council, spoke to the Mail about Shobnall Bridge after the incident on Monday which saw a 26-year-old man hospitalised after plummeting onto the carriageway below.

Councillor Ganley, who is also East Staffordshire’s deputy mayor, revealed several efforts had been made in the past to improve safety along the structure, as it has been a hotspot for people falling or jumping onto the road below.

He told the Mail: “This has obviously been a problem in the past and one that does not seem to want to go away.

“Countless councillors in the past have looked at making various changes but they have always been knocked by highways chiefs, because they say they would have to do it on all bridges if they did this one.

“What we need to do now is look at the issue again, but also make sure everyone keeps a close eye on people to make sure something like this can be prevented in the future.”

Among the recommendations in the past have been closing off the bridge altogether, building a cage-like structure to enclose pedestrians or extending the current 5ft barriers upwards.

However, despite several similar incidents in the past, no alterations have ever been made.

The incident on Monday saw both the north and southbound carriageways of the A38 closed for more than two-and-a-half hours as police worked to help the injured man, who was later airlifted to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police confirmed to the Mail that the injured man was yesterday in a ‘stable’ condition.

Police officers are still appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

Anyone with information should call officers on 101 or Crimestoppers, free and anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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